DESTINATION CRETE

Crete is the largest Greek island, where summer lasts from March to November. It is renowned for its breath-taking mountain ranges and its long sandy beaches running down to crystal blue seas. This is the birthplace of mythology and Zeus, one of Europe's most alluring destinations, which combines the romance of the Aegean with the mystic of its ancient spirit. If mankind created civilisation, Crete was the first, to place Man in the centre of its culture. Escape into a world where time stands still, into the archaeological Minoan sites, the Venetian fortresses, the Byzantine Monasteries and Churches and the traditional villages and festivals.

The real wealth of Crete is its people, their cuisine and their hand-made works. Full of tropical beaches, traditional villages, everyone with a different story, a huge variety of gorgeous landscapes, remains from the ancient civilisations, you've got people here writing history for the last five thousand years. N. Kazantzakis was inspired and wrote his famous book "Zorba the Greek" in Crete. Majestic mountains rise in its centre. Its plateaus are split by deep gorges and end up in fertile valleys. Old stone farmhouses, monasteries and villages perched on mountain ridges, castles and chapels forgotten on steep slopes. Shores lined with forbidding rocks, often inaccessible, but also lots of endless sandy or pebbly beaches.

Crete is divided in four prefectures of Chania, Heraklion, Lassithi and Rethymno.

There are 3 airports in CHania, Heraklion and Sitia that connect Crete with the rest of Greece and Europe.

Major Attractions:

City of Heraklion:The city of Heraklion is the largest urban center of Crete, the capital of the region of Crete and the economic Centre of the island. Since the Minoan period the town of Heraklion became the host of varied cultures and civilizations whose indelible marks are visible in the form of fountains, castles, walls, palaces, and other monuments. Heraklion is a heaven for architects and historians, as well as a cosmopolitan city having a lot to offer to those who are in search of culture and entertainment.

Chania Old Town & Port:Chania is a town of unique beauty, filled with an abundance of fragrant flowers, and boasting a rich cultural heritage. Ancient and modern monuments, the Venician Harbour and the Old Town, colourful neighbourhoods, a traditional lifestyle and the friendly inhabitants will warmly invite you feel its pulse.

Rethymno: A picturesque Mediterranean town, characterised by its unique Renaissance architecture, the Venetian fortress Fortezza and its picturesque old harbour. Wander around the old town and relax in one of its various cafes by the sea. The seductive personality of Rethymno will surely bewitch you.

Agios Nikolaos: Amphitheatrically built around the lake Voulismeni and lying on the shores of Mirabello bay, Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque and cosmopolitan town. By day there’s a cheerful buzz around the harbour full with cafes and shops and by night a decidedly chic ambience descends and bars.

Village of Hersonissos: Hersonissos is one of the most developed tourist resorts in Crete offering anything that a guest may ask for! Beaches, picturesque villages, variety of dining options, as well as vivid and incredible nightlife. At the same time a family friendly destination for relaxing or active holidays!

The Minoan Palace of Knossos: Built by a civilization that we called Minoans located south of modern day city of Heraklion near the north cost of Crete. The construction of the palace appears to have begun around 1950 B.C and it covers about 14000 square meters of space.

Chrissi Island: Is also known as Gaidouronisi or the Carribean island of Europe. A unique natural landscape dominated by cedar, golden sand, sea shells and light aquamarine water. A walk in the cedar woods and swimming in the crystal clear waters kissed by the bright sun will remain unforgettable.

The island of Spinaloga: The island of Spinalonga (officially known as Kalydon) is located in the Gulf of Elounda in north-eastern Crete, in Lasithi, next to the town of Elounda. The island was subsequently used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. It is notable for being one of the last active leper colonies in Europe.

Samaria Gorge: Crossing the gorge of Samaria is more like an adventure. Being the longest in Europe, its trail leads 18km south through a wonderful terrain and exists on the south coast of Crete drenched by the Libya Sea.

Lassithi Plateau & Dikteon Cave: One of the highpoints of Crete, both in altitude and atmosphere, makes it is unique: a green carpet hemmed on all sides by the Diktean Mountains, snow-capped into April and irrigated in summer by windmills. The Dikteon Cave birthplace of Zeus is not to be missed.

Heraklion Archaeological museum: The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most important museums in Europe. It houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Heraklion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide.

Natural History Museum of Crete: a natural history museum that operates under the auspices of the University of Crete. Its aim is the study, protection and promotion of the diverse flora and fauna of the Eastern Mediterranean region. The museum is based in a restored industrial building that used to house an electricity power plant.

Historical Museum of Crete: The museum’s permanent collections highlight the art and history of Crete from the 4th century AD up to and including the Second World War. The collections are ordered chronologically and by subject matter, and are combined with visual material and multimedia.

Crete Aquarium: in the Area of Gournes 15 km east of the city of Heraklion. The location is a unique park research, education, culture and recreation, which aims to promote and disseminate the knowledge of the marine environment.

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